According to the 2014 First Quarter Residential Real Estate Report released last week by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, there’s reason to believe Westchester’s real estate market may have finally—finally—turned the corner from the dark days of the Great Recession.
“Overall, the Lower Hudson [Valley] region’s real estate market appears to be shedding the last of any remaining baggage from the recession that bottomed sales and prices in 2009. With some few exceptions, there is now strong pent-up demand by buyers in most parts of the region, in all price ranges, and among all residential property types,” the report reads.
So why all the fuss? Two factors: high sales, low inventory. Westchester single-family home sales were up 19.4 percent over the same period last year. Co-ops were up 21 percent. Condos, though, dropped 15.2 percent. Total county inventory is 2.6 percent smaller than last year. This (mostly) good news contributed to a rise in median home prices. Single-family home prices rose 16.5 percent to $600,000, up from $515,000 a year ago, while condo prices and multi-family prices shot up seven and 10 percent, respectively.
Another sliver of good news: Sales of homes over $1 million (“high-end” in realtor speak), accounted for 23 percent of sales in the first quarter, “a level that was more characteristic of pre-recession markets,” according to the report.
Westchester comprises 60 percent of HGAR’s sales, but results were equally promising for Putnam, Rockland, and Orange, with total sales up 11.9, 7.7, and 4.2 percent, respectively.
One word of caution: Q2 numbers might not be quite so impressive because sales will come largely from homes that were marketed during Q1, when the weather was awful. But at least that’s weather related, not another recession remnant.